In 2014, I decided that I needed to learn how to make a handbag and therefore needed to know how to sew. I knew learning to sew would be hard, but I didn’t realize just how technical, precise, expensive, and time-consuming it would be. Apparently, you need four different kinds of cutting tools just to get started! Somehow, I managed to sew my first handbag during week one. Not exactly Michael Kors quality, but who cares? I made it! That month, I sewed baby blankets, flannel scarves (which I still wear), a few more handbags, and I loved every minute it.
THE BEGINNER’S MINDSET
Beginners are supposed to be bad. The mistakes, errors, and frustration are all part of learning something new. It’s why we experiment. It’s why we ask for help. The Zen Buddhists have a word for the beginner’s mindset: shoshin. It’s the practice of taking everything you think, know, and believe and setting it aside, and instead adopting an attitude of openness and eagerness when learning something new.
We see this kind of wonder in kids all the time. They embrace discovery and imaginative play, ask questions, paint colorful pictures, and build elaborate things with anything they can get their hands on. Sewing was such a refreshing experience for me because I knew nothing, assumed nothing, questioned everything, and was open to different approaches and possibilities.
Devote at least 30 minutes per day to learning something brand new. Here are a few options:
- Coding/App development
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Ping pong
- Writing jokes
- Card tricks
- Perform CPR
- Perform the Heimlich Maneuver
- WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW OFTEN – list the details of the challenge on the Accountability Tracker.
2. DOCUMENT IT ON THE CHALLENGE CALENDAR:
3. THE REWARD – don’t forget to document your reward on the accountability tracker! How will you reward yourself? Do you respond better to milestone rewards or are you holding out for the big daddy upon completion? What will it be? What motivates you?
4. KEEP TRUDGING FORWARD – don’t give up. If you fall off the wagon, keep moving forward! Ask for help. That’s what family and friends are for!
5. REFLECTION – reflect on the challenge – what went well, and what could be better. Learn from this and use this to improve on yourself and your future challenges!
What’s your Challenge? Get started today!